You’re working hard to recruit and hire qualified employees as your company grows. But finding the right people is only half the battle. If you don’t onboard them properly, your great new employees won’t stay.
It’s important to view onboarding as a continuation of the recruitment process. A strategic, standardized, consistent onboarding process can provide your company with higher rates of employee engagement, performance, and retention. And it works for all company sizes, big or small.
There are four critical components that onboarding should cover. Most companies are good about crossing the first one off the list – but the Society for Human Resource Management says that only 20% of companies onboard their new employees at the most strategic level, covering all four of these components:
- Compliance: Rules and regulations
- Clarification: Roles and responsibilities
- Culture: Organization personality and values
- Connection: Relationships with existing staff, supervisors, and mentors
If your onboarding process helps new employees adjust quickly, your company will score huge advantages: higher job satisfaction, lower turnover, and lower employee stress levels, just to name a few.
The first day sets the tone for the first year of a new job – and half of new employees leave their jobs within the first year. Make sure your new employees get started on the right foot by following these 11 onboarding best practices:
- Outline a plan: Whether you plan one or not, your new employees will receive some kind of onboarding through their experiences in their first few weeks. Make sure they’re receiving the kind of onboarding you want them to have. This ensures that the same messages are delivered to all new employees (while still being tailored to the person’s specific role).
- Welcome: Make new employees feel welcome from the very start – let them know you were expecting them, and that you’re excited to have them on staff. This can be accomplished in several ways, from a simple “welcome” email to a personalized “welcome” message on digital signage. Make new employees happy and excited that you chose them to work with you.
- Provide the right tools: Gather what new employees will need and have it ready before they start. Nothing’s worse than arriving for your first day and finding out that your computer is on back order, you don’t have a phone number, or you can’t take notes because your desk has no paper. Setting up phones, computers, security badges, all software logins, and email accounts early is vital.
- Make introductions: Whether it’s through a mid-morning meeting over coffee or a special planned lunch out, help new employees make introductions and connections that will help them start to build relationships. And make sure the employee’s supervisor is there!
- Spread out paperwork: Understandably, starting a new job comes with lots of paperwork to finish. But give new employees some breathers from endless reading and signing. Don’t make them fill out everything at once.
- Orientation: Make sure to include information about your company’s mission, values, vision, goals, culture, and collective personality. Explain how the company handles evaluations and performance reviews. This is also a great time to let the employee know how his/her role will impact the company.
- Cover work processes: Who needs to sign off on which decisions? How do internal employees communicate and share information? How and when is the videoconferencing system used? Explain your office’s protocol for these things.
- Job shadowing/mentors: Planning for new employees to job shadow within their own department, and across every other department in the company, will help them understand the entire organization better – and how their role impacts other people. Before setting up job shadows, however, make sure existing employees have time and are willing to participate (and will convey the right messages). This is also a great time to enroll the new employee in NSCA’s C-SIP training, which provides information about the industry and specific job roles. Once the training is complete, the participant receives a certificate as a systems integration professional.
- Track the training: Throughout onboarding, keep track of the new employee’s performance. Are they becoming more productive as time goes on? Are they struggling in certain areas?
- Collect feedback: After the first few days have passed, start asking new employees how and where you can improve the onboarding process. What should you do differently? Do they feel prepared? Are they clear about their role’s expectations? You can also ask managers for their opinions on the new employee’s performance so far.
- Post-boarding activities: The top reasons that employees stay with an organization don’t always involve more money. In fact, the Aberdeen Group reports that the top reasons include challenging and intriguing work, an appropriate work/life balance, strong colleague relationships, and feeling part of the organization’s growth.
To learn more about onboarding, view this archived webinar presented by Insperity: 11 Best Practices to Turn New Hires into Long-Lasting Employees. The webinar offers details about each of the 11 best practices offered here, as well as a few bonus ideas.
If you have questions about recruiting, training, or onboarding, contact us!